Over the next few years China will see the emergence of the next generation of Chinese Ski Reorts that feature modern lifts, multiple mountains, Alpine villages with 4 and 5 start hotels and vacation home real estate development. The newest entry to that growing list of mega ski projects is Duolemeidi. Located near ChongLi in the same general area as Wanlong, Duolemeidi has all the same advantages as Wanlong (good elevation, long slopes, good snowmaking weather and within driving distance of Beijing.) A rumored 1 billion RMB total investment by Itialian investors is aimed at eventually making Duolemeidi the #1 destination resort for the Beijing winter vacation market.
Dolomiti 6 person Chairlift
For the winter of 2009-2010, the ski mountain started to have enough variety to pose a serious challenge to Wanlong in the experienced skier market. The area opened its second lift serving 3 additional top to bottom trails on the second mountain. Plans are still in the works to open their hotel in the future, but this year you can still only visit on a day trip and must sleep in ChongLi or Zhangjiakou.
The initial 6 passanger lift is the most advanced lift yet installed at any major ski resort in China. The six passenger, detachable high speed lift by Leitner includes a bubble enclosure that whisks you to the top in 4+ minutes in wind protected comfort. This lift still serves 3 primary trails from the top although additional spurs have been added increasing the variety.
Dolomiti LeQi Advanced Trail
The trails are wide and long, each going the full top to bottom distance covering almost 2000' of elevation. The Westernmost and middle trails on the original mountain are suitable for beginning/intermediate skiers to practice their skills or enjoyable for good skiers to get in long, conditioning fast carving runs. The third run on the first mountain follows the lift contour and has a steeper pitch for intermediate/advanced skiers to enjoy. The new trails on the second mountain are advanced/intermediate runs of similar pitch. All in all, this third year of operation was now suitable for a multi-day visit and should only get better as more lifts and terrain are opened in future seasons.
Dolomiti Base Lodge
Duolemeidi's plans for base lodge facilities are unique for China. Typically, Chinese ski resorts have large base lodges suitable to handle crowds of over 1000. Duolemeidi, on the other hand, plans to disperse the crowds throughout its multi mountain, multi lift system with a series of smaller base lodges, each serving a particular area of the resort. As such, this initial base lodge, although nice, is rather small by Chinese standards. Rentals are all brand new name brand equipment featuring Nordica Skis and Nitro Snowboards and are located on the first floor. Next to the rentals is a repair shop that contains an automated base repair machine that is usually only found in ski manufacturing factories! Upstairs is a small bistro and bar area that serves both a full Chinese menu and genuine Italian Pizza (actually quite good) made by one of the many Italian staff on-site. A new Hot-Pot annex this year added to the food variety.
Dolomiti Rental Shop
Lift tickets cost RMB236 on weekdays and RMB270 on weekends for an 8 hour full day (but RMB360 on Holidays!). Equipment rentals are RMB200/RMB180 for Premium/Regular packages weekdays and approximately 10% higher on the weekend. Ski suits cost about RMB30 per day and Lockers cost RMB15 per day. As with all ski areas in China, be prepared to provide 500 RMB in cash per person as a deposit on the rentals as well as leaving you ID card/passport for security. In addition, 2day, 6 day, 12 day and full season passes are also available at significant discounts off the single daily rates.
Getting to Duolemeidi for now is getting to ChongLi. Buses now run from the ChongLi hotels to the ski area in the mornings and return at night. The bus to Chongli from Beijing cost 60 RMB per person. Trains run frequently between Beijing and Zhangjiakou. Arriving in Zhangjiakou, a taxi will take you the 50 km distance to ChongLi for about RMB160. Private car is convenient or join a tour group heading up for a weekend. If you are coming from Beijing for the weekend, the resort runs a bus from the intersection of 3rd Ring Road and Badaling Highway that departs around 7:00 PM on Friday and returns you back there by around 9:00 PM on Sunday. If you are staying in Wanlong and just want to try it for a day trip you can hire a cab from Chongli to pick you up and return you to Wanlong for 200 RMB round trip. The trip takes a little over 1 hour each way.